Computational Landscape Ecologists Look Ahead During Symposium


Map of global phenoregionsTechnological advances and changing ecosystems have led to increased emphasis on and opportunities in the field of computational landscape ecology—the development of models and tools that can quantify ecosystem impacts from land use, land cover, and climatic changes. To outline a 10-year research agenda and guide young researchers in the field, Eastern Threat Center research ecologist Kurt Riitters and Neptune and Company environmental statistician Paul Duffy co-organized a symposium, “Research Priorities in Computational Landscape Ecology,” for the 9th World Congress of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE) held in Portland, Oregon. Approximately 75 scientists and students attended the 10 symposium presentations, and 25 participated in the following discussion session. An effort is underway to prepare a symposium summary for publication. Notably, two symposium speakers recently received global recognition of their scientific accomplishments: Bai-Lian (Larry) Li (University of California, Riverside) is the recipient of the 2015 Prigogine Gold Medal in systems ecology, and Marie-Josée Fortin (University of Toronto) is the recipient of the 2015 IALE Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements. Also among the symposium speakers were Center research ecologist Bill Hargrove and ForWarn collaborator Forrest Hoffman from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Save the date! The Eastern Threat Center will host the next meeting of the US-IALE in Asheville, NC, April 2-8, 2016.

Pictured: Computational landscape ecology can help researchers use "big data" to understand spatial patterns across landscapes. For example, Hargrove and partners used models to identify and map similar landscapes, known as global phenoregions. Click to enlarge.


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